South Africa beat West Indies & Ireland beat USA in U-19 World Cup

Potchefstroom, (UNI) The opening day of the 15th edition of ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup saw South Africa down West Indies in a close contest; meanwhile Ireland won against USA with ease in the other contest.

The much-anticipated U19 Cricket World Cup kicked off in South Africa.

In the South Africa-West Indies encounter at Potchefstroom, the Proteas overcame Jewel Andrew’s brilliant hundred to win a close contest.

In the other game of the day, Ireland bested USA by seven wickets.

After winning the toss, West Indies captain Stephan Pascal elected to bowl first. He backed his strong bowling line-up to do well against South Africa.

Lhuan-Dre Pretorius took charge in the initial stages with a flurry of boundaries, though Deshawn James managed to grab an early wicket in the form of Steve Stolk (5), who mistimed a swipe towards the off-side where the alert Pascal took an easy catch.

On the other hand, Pretorius kept going for his shots and even hit the first six of the tournament against Nathan Sealy.

However, it was Sealy who had the last laugh as he cleaned up the left-hander with a beauty in his next over. David Teeger and Richard Seletswane held the fort over the next few overs and looked to rebuild the innings.

Just as the duo were looking to pick the pace, Seletswane was run out off a direct hit from Tarrique Edward.

Oliver Whitehead came in at number five, and after surviving a close call, helped South Africa rebuild their innings. Along with Teeger, he added 48 runs for the fourth wicket.

However, he was caught at mid-on after he tried to charge James down the wicket. Sealy returned to strike twice in his ninth over, removing Romashan Pillay and the set Teeger to put West Indies ahead.

Dewan Marais then let out several attacking strokes to announce his intent. This helped the skipper Juan James to settle in and go for his shots later in the innings.

With a positive approach, the duo added crucial runs towards the end of the innings. Marais’ impressive fifty came off merely 33 balls. He finished as the innings top-scorer with his 65 from 38.

In response, the Boys in Maroon found the going tough against the young Proteas. Left-arm pacer Kwena Maphaka ran through the top-order, picking Adrian Weir, Pascal and Joshua Dorne in the first 12 balls of his spell.

An aggressive Jordan Johson tried to counter-attack but eventually fell to Riley Norton. At the end of 10 overs, West Indies were going at a healthy pace of 7.3, but had lost half their side.

Jewel Andrew and Nathan Sealy made their intentions clear by going for their shots, ensuring that West Indies moved ahead at a brisk pace. In the next 15 overs, the duo added nearly 100 runs to keep their side in the game.

Just when it looked like the duo had done enough to take the game away from South Africa, Sealy was run out at the score of 190 to add intrigue to the contest.

Andrew kept going with assistance from Tarrique and Nathan Edward. However, Maphaka and Norton struck in the later overs to run through the West Indies lower-order. Andrew’s dismissal at 130 ended the last hopes for the West Indies.

In the other game of the day, Ireland beat USA by seven wickets in the opening encounter of the ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup 2024 at Bloemfontein.

Ireland skipper Philippus le Roux chose to bowl after winning the toss. He wanted to take advantage of any movement in the wicket early on. Reuben Wilson struck in the very first over of the game, cleaning up USA opener Aryaman Suri with a jaffa.

Olly Riley wasn’t to be left behind and soon picked the wicket of Pranav Chettipalayam with a beauty. The southpaw was cleaned up by one that jagged in and hit his bails.

Riley picked two more in the first Powerplay as USA batters looked uncomfortable against the movement generated by the Ireland pacers.

Another wicket fell to the medium pace of John McNally soon after, and USA had lost half their side at merely 37. When Parth Patel (13) fell to Wilson, Ireland had already entered USA’s tail.

It didn’t take them long to dislodge the remaining batters, even as the North American side were bowled out in the 41st over. The new-ball pair of Wilson and Riley finished with three apiece.

USA got off to the perfect start at the back of a double blow from Arya Garg. Jordan Neill and Gavin Roulston fell when the team total was merely five. Ryan Hunter and Kian Hilton came together then for the third wicket.

They saw off the challenge of the new ball, and gathered runs off the loose deliveries. Their stand of 59 runs helped Ireland cover more than half of USA’s ask.

After Hilton’s loss in the 14th over, skipper Philippus Le Roux joined the chase. Along with Neill, he helped Ireland cross the line without any further losses.

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